On the recommendation of the University of Guyana Academic Board, the University Council at its 2018 Annual Business meeting yesterday unanimously adopted the proposal to confer the university’s first honorary doctorate degrees upon four outstanding Guyanese at the 52nd Convocation of the Turkeyen campus to be held today at the National Cultural Centre.
Commenting on this milestone in the 55 years of the institution, Chancellor of the University Professor Nigel Harris said, “The recognition of individuals who have distinguished themselves through their diverse accomplishments and exemplary service with the award of honorary degrees is a University tradition that dates to the middle ages. I share the delight of our University of Guyana (UG) in initiating these awards. It represents yet another step in the transformative growth of our University.
According to a release from UG, the honorary degree recipients, to be conferred with the Doctor of Letters (DLitt), have all made their mark in their respective fields of music, business, philanthropy and Indigenous rights. At the ceremony which begins at 9:00 am, musician Eddy Grant will be conferred for excellence in music and civic engagement and Yesu Persaud for iconic leadership in business and banking; Jairaj (Jay) Sobhraj will be conferred at the second ceremony at 1 pm for excellence in entrepreneurship and philanthropy, while Laura George will be conferred at the third ceremony, which begins at 5 pm, for outstanding community development and advocacy
The release said that the honorary doctorates are being bestowed in accordance with the University of Guyana Act, Section 18 (e) which grants the University the legal authority “to confer Honorary Degrees and other distinctions, provided that all degrees and other distinctions so conferred shall be conferred and held subject to any provision which are or may be made in reference thereto by the university”.
The release added that one of the powers of Academic Board under Statute 15:2 (d) is “to make recommendation to the Council with respect to the award to any person of an Honorary Fellowship or Honorary Degree or title of Professor Emeritus’’. The current proposal had successfully passed through all previous vetting procedures, the release added.
University Vice Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith said that “This historic conferral is part of the Renaissance pursuits of the University, which entails rebuilding and rebranding the University.